There’s no law that says you need to switch your bedding every season—although you probably do want to stash the heavy blanket and flannel sheets. But if you’re looking to spruce up the bedroom, bedding is a budget-friendly way to go, says Nina Isabella, an interior designer and owner of Nina Styling & Interiors in Rhinecliff. “It’s not as expensive to swap out a duvet, comforter, or your sheets as it would be your wall color or your window treatments,” she says. Here are five fresh ideas.
To make the bedroom look more modern, combine different patterns for the bedding, pillows, and window treatments. Create harmony by pulling together the variety via scale, colors in the same palette, and even fabrics. “Say you have a really bold, thick stripe. It could be nice to pair that with a more delicate floral in the same color family,” notes Emma Sims-Biggs, a general manager at Hammertown, a home furnishings store and interior design service with locations in Rhinebeck, Pine Plains, and Great Barrington.
Bedding companies have been gravitating toward sustainable materials for years. But fabrics such as bamboo, Tencel (made from wood pulp), and linen aren’t just good for the planet. They’re also lightweight and breathable, making them perfect summer sleeping partners. Just note: Linen gets softer over time, says Sims-Biggs. Wash it at least once before putting it on the bed, she recommends.
There’s still a place for a sleek, streamlined look if that’s more your bedroom style. But layering creates more depth and can pull together your bed in a more interesting way. For instance, go for bamboo sheets and a linen duvet, add in a printed cotton pillowcase, and then place a muslin throw at the foot of the bed. “Even if you don’t need it, having a light blanket at the end of your bed is a nice way to add layers and also gives a cleaner look,” says Isabella.
Another way to layer is with pillows. Isabella is a fan of Euro pillows, square pillows that are also known as Euro shams, for adding height. “If you have the Euro pillows in the back, and then one long lumbar pillow in the front, it’s a clean way to add interest without having a crazy number of pillows,” Isabella explains.
Rich and Earthy Shades
Blue, white, and gray have had their day, at least for this season. Instead, opt for bedding in bold green, gold, yellow, and lilac, says Sims-Biggs. “Use different hues of the same color. A paler green sheet and pillowcases, a predominantly green patterned coverlet, and a dark green duvet cover,” she suggests. Or go for softer earth tones, says Isabella, like terracotta, stone, or olive.
Nixing sweaty nights might be simpler than ever, if you’re willing to splurge on a special mattress made with “phase change” materials. “These materials store or release heat at specific temperature ranges,” explains Derek Hales, founder of NapLab.com, a mattress-reviewing site. Ghostbed’s Luxe mattress uses this technology. But so does their memory foam pillow, if you don’t have the cash for a new mattress.
Or go for the sleep-tracking and temperature-regulating Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover, which Hales describes as “essentially a tiny HVAC for your mattress.” It lets you control the temps on each side of the mattress, which is good if your partner has a higher heat threshold than you do. It’s an investment, but might be worth it as the temperatures climb.
You don’t have to do much to freshen up your bedroom if you only have so much in the budget. No matter how long your list, though, Isabella recommends buying sheets and comforters in person after doing some online scouting. “I would say that bedding is one of those things that is really best looked at and experienced in person,” she notes. “If you find something that lights you up and checks off all the boxes—color, texture, material, price point—then go for it!”
Rx for Healthier Z’s
Your body temperature plays a big role in falling and staying asleep. It starts to dip a couple of hours before bedtime and then stays low for about six hours, beginning to rise again when it’s time to wake up. So steamy nights mess with your body’s ability to regulate its core temperature.
Heat and humidity torpedo good-quality z’s. So-called deep sleep—the dreaming stage as well as the slow brain-wave stage—is the most restorative shut-eye you get. But if you’re too warm, you spend less time in both and wake up more often. The result: A bad night (or nights), which in the long-term can be harmful for your heart, mood, and overall health.
Experts say the ideal sleeping temperature is between 65 and 70 degrees. A cooler room helps you snooze better by increasing melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Plus, you’ll spend more time in the deep stages of sleep and wake up less often. But too cold isn’t good, either. Below 55 degrees, you’ll skimp on the dream stage of sleep and wake up more often.